Leather, a precious material | Hermès
Leather, a precious material
Bag, saddle, gloves, shoes, belt… These Hermès objects could not be made without leather. But this precious raw material is not always used in its entirety. The house’s craftsmen and designers have therefore devised new solutions to reduce and recycle offcuts.
When the skins arrive in the workshops, they are carefully examined and sorted. Their grain and colour will coexist within the object, define its daily use, and inspire a desire to adopt it for life. When the cutting stage is reached, all optimisation techniques are implemented to minimise waste, in keeping with artisanal best practice. It is nonetheless impossible to eliminate it altogether. So what happens to these remnants? They are the stuff of ideas!
None are left out, there is a home for them all somewhere. One will become a card holder, another the handle of a stone doorstop. Even the smallest pieces of leather find a purpose. They will be sent to whichever production site, sector or partner can turn them into something of value.
Circles, strips and other leather odds and ends are also recovered by petit h, the creative laboratory where artisans, designers and artists exchange ideas. It offers an opportunity to experiment without boundaries. At Hermès, the conundrum of optimising leather has been transformed into an invitation to re-create, a reservoir of inventiveness.
With the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, priority goes to proximityWhat if the future of the climate hinged on a village in Kenya, Indonesia or Peru, rather than on international summits? The Livelihoods carbon funds, of which Hermès has been a partner since 2012, encourage this grassroots approach. The projects benefit rural populations while offsetting the house's carbon footprint. The group has just signed up to a new twenty-year commitment.
The resourceful orange boxWhether round, rectangular or square, it is used to pack ties, hats, boots, tableware, jewellery or bags. Only furniture cannot comfortably slip into one. The orange box is made in France by seven cardboard manufacturers. Attractive and robust, its qualities make it an iconic object in its own right.
Certified ethically-sourced diamondsFrom extraction in the mines to sales of jewellery in Hermès stores, the house’s diamond operations are in tune with the international Kimberley process. When purchasing an item, customers are given a certificate detailing this guarantee of ethical compliance.